Review: "Dickinson" on Apple TV+

Is Apple TV+ worth the monthly subscription? At the time, maybe not. The streaming service has little material at the moment. Never say never. Next year, I may scream “YES!” in your ear with what is to come. Right now, the main attractions for me to test it out were the new Snoopy series and Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson the poet.

Critics online call this show “weird” in every article. Weird, the standard definition in 2019 regarding TV shows and films, gets attached to any production that isn’t a close copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a popular show that once was original. Me, personally? I am a little tired of woke millennial teen dramas about people doing drugs and getting drunk trying out same sex relationships like novelties. Give me something that feels real. Who cares if Dickinson feels like a vintage recreation airing on The CW? I heart The CW to pieces. Always have. Always will. You are never too old for CW programming.

For being a “weird” show for critics, who by large are all people who have never been teenagers and went right from age 3 to 45+, lucky them, Dickinson is spot on relatable to anyone who has ever survived the torture known as being born female. If you are an actor or creative type of some sort, you will find this show speaks your life. Almost everything Emily Dickinson deals with on the show has happened to me. People seeing me as a piece of meat whose only worth is marriage, or forcing me to meet men when I never consented to them inviting men in my presence. People doubting me. Trying to silence me. Telling me how a proper young lady should be. People telling me about women’s places in society when I feel no attachment to my gender, not a single mental connection. Friends hanging out being catty. The desire to be prolific with my artistry when things seem bleak. Being told I should forget about artistry when I should be doing something else. Jealousy towards someone who enters a relationship with someone else. What has not happened to me, or you, that is not depicted on screen in Dickinson? OK, dancing drunk with a CGI bumblebee hasn’t. Being in a carriage with someone from another realm. The waking parts of her life, yes.

The LGBT storyline is part of Emily Dickinson but not a novelty. Hey woke youth shows, this is how you do same sex attraction. Neither female character here feels as a viewer as if she is not in control of her sexuality.

For critics denouncing this show as “weird,” I ask, who are you to determine one’s truth? Is it weird because you don’t relate to it? Good for you. Millions of people around the world, myself included, do.

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